WHAT WOULD YOU DO?

ref old hardwood flooringWe are in the midst of deciding what the renovation of the 1920’s bungalow we are purchasing will look like.  We live, work, and play in neighborhoods where new construction is booming in the midst of old historic homes.  Some people don’t feel these homes are keeping up with the quality and character of the older more historic builds in the neighborhoods.  What do you think?

We would like to keep as much of the original character as possible. The hardwood floors are the original one-inch oak hardwoods.  You don’t see any knots in the wood because back then they had access to one-hundred plus year old trees from which to harvest the wood.

If you’ve heard it said before, “They just don’t make wood the way they used to” – that would be a correct statement. They don’t. Trees in our grandfathers’ time fought with nature in ways that today’s second-growth, or new-growth trees do not. Those old growth trees were much denser, had much tighter growth rings and were therefore harder and more stable.  Today, the trees are harvested much younger and therefore quite “knotty” in appearance and not as hard and sturdy.  We have many things to decide!

I ran across an article recently by Adventures in Preservation that made me think.  They were commenting on how in America, we tear down more of our older homes and buildings than other countries.  It points out reasons why we should care about saving old homes.  It is indeed something to ponder.  Maybe we will keep the hardwoods!

Six Reasons Why More Americans Should Care About Saving Old Homes

  • Because tearing them down is wrecking our history. Countries rich in culture value history and buildings. “In Italy and France, you see 300-year-old buildings housing subways,” she said. “They make them work, they don’t tear them down.”
  • Because it’s bad for our Earth. Most of the wreckage will not be salvaged. All that glass and plaster goes into landfills.
  • Because you can never replicate these houses once they’re gone. The woodwork alone came from 200-year-old trees. These homes were built before electricity,
  • Because we don’t need new homes. “We have enough vacant homes to put everyone in.”
  • Because we’re losing our uniqueness. “There is something beautiful about traveling through America and seeing its distinct neighborhoods. Houses that get torn down and rebuilt erase that character.”
  • Because of their quality. “When you have a 100-year-old home made of timbers not particle board, it is solid. These homes have withstood decades of human life and natural disasters. But not city commissions and other self-interests.”

Posted on June 21, 2013 by Adventures in Preservation